This is the Yosemite NP upper part.. and i discovered just by chance. I didnt pay attention to this part, just the valley, the eastern part in Tioga pass road and Wawona area and Sequoias park just closer to south entrance. So i woke up that morning from curry Village parking lot with the clear intention to spend a smooth day in Tuolomne meadows or any other part but not for a hard hiking day but a smooth and quiet day taking pictures and nothing more waiting to next day to hike up to Half Dome and leave Yosemite the next day. So driving up to crane flat i turned left to seek where that road leads (120) when i stopped in a fork that announces hetch hetchy to the right before leaving the road that leaded to San Francisco. And such a surprise. I stopped my car at ranger's station entrance where the ranger took me a number in order of entry to the park nook...i guess was number 3 or 4 !! good point ... it meant that almost nobody was there.. !! and actually it was right.. during my long day hike into the wild i didnt say hello to anybody (almost 7 hours alone).
So i moved my car by a long bending and quite nice road till the final lot where was a parking lot in front of a huge and large damn. And here it is the picture crossing it to discover more places further away !
The hike we had at the Sequoia Grove made it clear to us the difference in environment and surroundings one can witness in only one National Park. The Tuolume Meadows hike was a bit flat, but beautiful because of its amazing views and drinkable Soda Springs. The Sequoia Grove hike was magnificent, because of the unbelievable large trees.
This second hike was a bit more extracting, but still a moderate hiking trail. The path went up and down and took us to some Sequoia Trees, which is the largest living organism on the world. We saw a tree which was 23 metres in circumference! Can you believe it? Thanks to these trees we're able to enjoy Yosemite, because this National Park was founded to protect these colossal trees.
Have a look at Yosemite National Park Packing List.
Hiking up the view become amazing and fascinating... the trail becomes too more strenous and steep.. luckily there are so many shadow parts protecting you from the shining sun.. so its better start early in the morning because last bends are so steep and no trees around to hide u from the hard sun. Be carefull and bring lots of water with you during summer, i reckon how hot was in late september among 12pm when i was hiking
Athetch Hetchy Valley entrance the ranger give you a leaflet with a map and usefull information about where are you entering..
In short i can explain that American indians lived there for more than 6000 years. Ending XIX century preservationists leaded by famous John Muir wanted the valley to remain untouched from others who support the idea to build a dam just there . in 1906 an eartquake and fire devasted SF adding public simpathy to the search for an adequate water supply. 1913 Congress authorized the construction of a dam in hetch Hetchy as well as another dam at Lake Eleonor. This water is a supply for 2.4 milion people in SF bay area
I crossed the dam bridge from the parking lot where i parked my hyundai sonata. the first to get is a long tunnel with no light with bumps and rocks during all this gap. Once on the other part a lakeside path climbs up a few meters (not much) towards the main trails... i was looking something easy and not hard before my Half dome day ... the best to do was visit the waterfalls some mile away from the tunnel ...but i thought no much water on those days ... (Yosemite valley was so dry.. no waterfalls at all) so i quit that idea.. once in the main path fork.. i chose the Laurel Lake in spite of keeping on further by the lakeshore trail... and such an idea !! i started a path quite wide so so hot and full of flies .. a never ending switchback trail gaining high to achieve the top of the granite wall over the dam... and this is where i shot this picture..at half way to reach "the top".
Beneath a torrid sun and milions of flies I reach the summit of that granite wall and after lots of bends on this steep path. I thought that was quite closer the lake but i was wrong... actually to get to the lake you'll walk for 8.4 miles one way and the total elevation gain and loss is 6700 feet. Its a long hike the worse part is the first hours where all is that steep path and after that there are several parts gaining height and descending again.. so its hard for legs.. the second part is amidst a beautiful forest sometimes wet sometimes dry and full of conifers... after that u will reach somethinh that reminds a former lake and all trees are burnt..!!! isolated as i were there u just listen to the music of wind shaking the trees leafs.. its amazing and scary at the same time !! and just after this stage ..meadows and more meadows where u find a fork to Lake Vernon to the right or Laurel lake to the left before to cross the spring (frog creek)... Laure lake appears suddenly to your right, a large lake surrounded by conifers and not much accesible to its banks.. was then when i crossed in front of me (30 meters ahead ) a huge elk quite scary and alone in the forest,... was terrific !!
These pictures are from that moment... the hike was so strenous and it stopped me next day to hike half dome !! next time !!
In contrast to Mono Lake, Cathedral Lake is high up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, north of Yosemite. The hike is about seven miles round trip. It's well worth it. This is one of California's most beautiful lakes.
The area around Tuolumne Meadows is a climbers' paradise full of polished domes, needle-like summits and alpine peaks. And probably the most beautiful and striking peak in that area is Cathedral Peak (some say it is the most beautiful peak in Yosemite, possibly in the entire Sierra Nevada range). The peak is made up of two spires sculpted by ancient glaciers; the western one is called Eichorn Pinnacle. John Muir made the first ascent of Cathedral Peak in 1869 and since then many climbers have followed in his footsteps. The peak has an elevation of 10911 feet (3326 m). The most popular climbing route on Cathedral Peak is the Southeast Buttress route, with a maximum difficulty of class 5.6, however, there is an easier class 4 route which ascends its northwest side, nicknamed "Mountaineer's Route".
The "Great Sierra Mine" sounds like a huge operation, doesn't it? Well, it's not much of a mine and certainly not great, but the trail up to it, which skirts the jewel-like Gaylor Lakes, is one of the best short hikes in Yosemite. Four miles round trip which can be done in 2-3 hours, you get a good heart-accelerating ascent then a pleasant meander through high alpine country. At the end of thetrail, you rise above a wind-blown pond that still could be surrounded by snow patches into late August and get to the Great Sierra Mine. The first sign of the mine is the frame of a stone house, built by silver miners around the 1860s or so. Some of the wooden beams can still be seen, as decomposition occurs very slowly at these high altitudes. Further up, you can see collapsed mine shafts and a few more structures, dating from the 19th century. And, if you walk down the other side of the slope, you can have lunch by another lake. All this activity is above 9000 feet, so bring your lungs!
Our journey and goal for this particular hike was to see the Dead Giant, a Sequoia tree that is tunneled in 1878. It's one of the two remaining trees you can still walk through in Yosemite National Park.
But once we arrived at the spot the tree made us very sad; a monarch giant sequoia that has lived at least 1000 years, with a tunnel cut through its base. It's disgusting how early park management would vandalize the trees in this way. While walking through this tree may seem fun, stop for a moment and take a walk in the tree's shoe. It made us a bit angree!
We also learned that the Dead Giant was toppled in 1969, because the tunnel had weakened it. It is estimated to have died 1000 years prematurely.
Have a look at Yosemite National Park Packing List.
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